Northumberland Today to Shut Down

A press release today reported that Torstar (owner of Northumberland News) and PostMedia (Owner of Northumberland Today) have swapped a collection of newspapers – mostly in Ontario. Northumberland Today LogoThey also announced that most of the exchanged Newspapers will be shut down and although dates for ceasing publication are not clear, it was explicitly announced that Northumberland Today would be shut down “effective today”. In total, the closures will result in the loss of approximately 244 jobs. Since Northumberland News was not swapped and since it was not included in the papers to be shut down, it seems that the move is a way of consolidating in various markets so Cobourg will have only one newspaper and that will be Northumberland News.

In addition to the shutdown of 47 community Newspapers, 4 free Metro newspapers will also shut down.

The shutdowns are blamed on declines in print advertising revenue. Although the change is effective today, it is not clear when the actual shut down date for Northumberland Today will be [but it looks like Monday was the last edition].  PostMedia said that they will close most of their newly acquired newspapers mid January.

Northumberland Today was originally a number of separate newspapers covering Port Hope and Colborne as well as Cobourg. The Cobourg paper was the Cobourg Star and (as far as I can tell), was founded in 1831. The Cobourg Sentinel ran independently from 1861-1879 then merged with the Star in 1880 to become the Cobourg Sentinel-Star (1880-1972), the Cobourg Star (1973-1976) and the Cobourg Daily Star (1977-Feb. 2009). The Cobourg World ran from 1864 -1948. The Star changed to Northumberland Today as of February 2009.

Stay tuned to Cobourg News Blog for any updates – come back to this page.

Links – Sources

Addendum – November 28

Today, subscribers to Northumberland Today received a letter from Abe Fakhourie, Regional Director of Circulation for Metrolandmedia which said that the last edition was the November 27th paper.  Subscribers were also informed that Metrolandmedia would “be in touch in the very near future to discuss your account status with you”.


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Wally Keeler
3 December 2017 9:57 am

Wilf Day brought up an interesting point on his FB page. All of the NT archives have been deleted from the web. All the links to any NT article that Mr Draper posted here over the years have all been rendered defunct. The same goes for all the Facebook links that citizens had made over the years.

Click on the NT site and you will be brought to the Northumberland News site. So the owner of NT had the presence of mind to link NT to NN, but not carry over the NT archives. The staff of NN should be hounding their management to link those NT archives to the NN site.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.” Orwell.

Northumberland has lost a big chunk of its memory. Pity!

John Draper
Reply to  Wally Keeler
3 December 2017 10:34 am

This was reported in the News Update in the side column. My comment is/was “Not good”.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  John Draper
3 December 2017 10:52 am

The owners of Northumberland News severed the links. What would it take for the manager of NN to request their boss make a portal on the NN site where residents of Northumberland can access their digital history, NT version..

John Draper
Reply to  Wally Keeler
3 December 2017 10:57 am

It depends if the content was deleted or preserved. It was likely deleted and lost forever although there may be a back up somewhere. In any case, “preserving” would take some IT time and therefore dollars. The Town did the same (lost all history) when they went to their new site.

Reply to  John Draper
3 December 2017 11:59 am

This would be a Postmedia problem. NT sat on their server, it still probably does, just the links severed or they may have just deleted the folder and in that case PM is the murderer.

Jo G
30 November 2017 8:16 am

Sad times — especially when considering that N. Today was one of the few papers in the chain that was actually generating revenue, and did have a considerable readership (given the older population, and lack of actual, timely, accurate news). This information source has persevered since 1831 – and it will be interesting to see how the community as a whole keeps in the loop about events, mayhem, governmental changes, and the like. Northumberland News is an improving source, but I wouldn’t count on its ongoing continuance — the bottom line is king in this industry.

Just Curious
28 November 2017 7:42 pm

Re the Addendum and the letter “subscribers to Northumberland Today received today from Abe Fakhourie, Regional Director of Circulation for Metrolandmedia…” Would love to know where mine is??? Guess I don’t have an account although money has been taken from my credit card regularly.

Old Sailor
28 November 2017 9:19 am

I would have thought that with an older community like in Northumberland more people would subscribe to the local papers. In the GTA all the young people live in high rise condos and will never subscribe to a daily paper delivered to their door.

The good news is that we still have the Northumberland News, for now. Its owner – Torstar – is not in any better financial shape than PostMedia. I assume Torstar got Northumberland Today’s subscriber list and will be contacting us soon.

28 November 2017 8:52 am

Its time has come , When the local Papers are more concerned about Political correctness than Accuracy than the Truth then People loose interest .
The papers have become to censored and have been skirting the real facts for far to long
The Truth if known can be helpful to the public not just the powers to be .
For instance when was the last time you heard about a home owners plight or outcome
when battling the the Canadian Nuclear CNL or the Port Hope Area Initiative or the
PVP Property Value Protection Plan You Don’t and the Public Can’t get their outcomes or concerns and abuses and Loss Published . Why ?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  sandpiper
28 November 2017 10:37 am

the Public Can’t get their outcomes or concerns and abuses and Loss Published . Why ?

If you really really want to pursue those things, then I recommend that you start up a blog of your own and expose the truth, nothing but the truth, as you see fit. The commie countries of yor were full of censorshit, but dissidents got the truth out — via samizdat, magnitizdat, tamizdat, etc. Freedom belongs to those who use it.

Wally Keeler
27 November 2017 3:41 pm

Northumberland News will be scooping up the revenue from local municipal governments posting their events. Lets see how fast it is done.

I worked for Foster Meharry Russell of the Cobourg Sentinel-Star when it was run on linotype. Then Dr James Johnston bought it, retrained the linotypers on the efficiencies of offset printing. There was one layoff if I recall correctly.

The historic routes of Northumberland Today have come to an end. NORTHUMBERLAND NEWS is a survivor ——– for now. Northumberland Now may exercise the option of hiring from the debris of layoffs.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
28 November 2017 8:24 am

Is there a lesson for our downtown merchants? Most residents no longer read newspapers nor do they shop in uninviting and poorly stocked stores that are closed at convenient times. Perhaps the Town of Cobourg will eschew newspaper adverts and use only their award winning website instead. Or do we need a CIVI to squander taxpayer money to make Northumberland Today more inviting?

Reply to  Dubious
28 November 2017 9:05 am

There are many successful stores downtown sooooo?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ahewsonator
28 November 2017 10:29 am

Dubious is a serial gripe, groan and grump. Dubious has never offered a new, refreshing idea or any creative input whatsoever.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
28 November 2017 10:38 am

Without Northumberland Today you’ll have only here to post your repetitive and useless comments regarding lack of creativity. Why not show everyone what should be done rather than merely lamenting the failures of others?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Dubious
28 November 2017 10:46 am

Yes, my comments about your lack of creativity are useless – you are simply incapable of it. I have shown people what can be done on several occasions, to make the downtown have a bit more charm. And, of course, I inspired the repairs to the D”Arcy Street railway crossing. I don’t lament — I get things done. Back to you Dubious — what have you ever done to enhance Cobourg? I’m sick of your serial gripe, grump and groan. What else ya got oh great unimaginative one?

Reply to  Wally Keeler
28 November 2017 11:43 am

Now Wally…if only you could get Lafarge to concrete their driveway onto D’Arcy Street, so that the usual water filled large potholes would allow people on the east side to have clear navigation southward and the surface of D’Arcy not dirty our cars everyday. Seems our local politicians can’t get enough lobbying factor to get Lafarge to do the “Right Thing” with their great product.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
28 November 2017 1:36 pm

I’ll leave that part for you to accomplish, since you seem so eager to get things done yourself. C’mon cornbread, show me up with your activism. Show us how it is done. Put up or shut up.

Btw, paved shoulder on the west side of D”Arcy will be done next spring. A smooth sidewalk between the tracks were completed a month ago. A sidewalk north of the tracks was completely replaced. Yes, it was ME, who initiated that project, while you and Dubious grump, gripe and groan.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
28 November 2017 2:20 pm

Perhaps I am wrong but… I strongly suspect that you didn’t “initiate” any project. You merely whined and whined and finally money was wasted so you take credit for something that you didn’t do. In my humble opinion that is not “initiating” but merely stealing from others to satisfy your selfish desires for personal comfort and safety. Am I wrong?

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Dubious
28 November 2017 6:46 pm

In Ontario we have a law that guarantees rights to the disabled. The Town has legal obligations to provide safe streets so what Mr. Keeler did was a timely reminder that a real safety hazard existed at the railway crossing on Darcy Street, and they had a duty to fix it. Here’s a blurb from the Ontario government website since I know that you, Dubious, will not take my word for it. Here it is:

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)
became law on June 13, 2005. Under this landmark legislation,
the government of Ontario will develop mandatory accessibility
standards that will identify, remove and prevent barriers for
people with disabilities in key areas of daily living. The standards
will apply to private and public sector organizations across

Here’s the link to the entire document.

I believe the Province is now collecting compliance reports from businesses and probably municipalities too. Good thing Mr. Keeler spoke up when he did.

Reply to  Deborah OConnor
29 November 2017 8:23 am

Thank you for the link but I am familiar with the AODA. The act is a perfect example of why taxes are high. Phrases such as “where numbers warrant” and “reasonable” are nowhere to be found. Requiring something, however laudable, with no consideration of whether the requirements are cost effective will only divert resources to serve the needs of tiny minorities.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Dubious
29 November 2017 8:22 am

Dubious grumped, groaned and griped; “Perhaps I am wrong but… I strongly suspect that you didn’t “initiate” any project. You merely whined and whined and finally money was wasted so you take credit for something that you didn’t do. In my humble opinion that is not “initiating” but merely stealing from others to satisfy your selfish desires for personal comfort and safety. Am I wrong?”

Yes, you are textceedingly wrong. Your characterization tells me everything I need to know about you. It tells me that you are a selfish self-centred individual without any capability of generosity or imagination. You have never expressed care for your fellow community members. You have never offered a single fresh idea on how to enhance the community — because the great brain function of creativity is absent in you. You are talentless. You are a serial gripe, grump and groaner.

You are textposed as yourself. It’s quite satisfactory for me to cease addressing you furthermore. All of the readers know what kind of person you are. I described you very well.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
28 November 2017 11:54 am

Methinks that thee overestimates thy significance. Get things done? Inspired repairs? Gimme a break!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Dubious
28 November 2017 1:32 pm

Don’t care about your BS. I have the documents and also the comments made on this blog when I first raised the issue of the necessity to repair the D”Arcy Street railway crossing. When I was chair of the Cobourg Ecology Garden, a requested the extension of the Hibernia Street sidewalk to the boardwalk. So back to you Dubious — what have you done to improve the Town, aside from your serial grump, groan and gripe.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
28 November 2017 2:24 pm

Did you pay for the extension of Hibernia Street sidewalk? Did you repair the D’Arcy Street Railway crossing? If not then you did nothing but whine about your petty desires.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Dubious
29 November 2017 8:08 am

” you did nothing but whine”

And as a consequence, the D”Arcy Street railway crossing is more safe to cross for all Cobourg residents, especially the vulnerable residents on mobility devices.

What have you done to enhance our community Dubious? NOTHING!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Dubious
28 November 2017 10:49 am

“…lamenting the failures of others?

You do that all the time. The perceived failures of Town Councillors, the Mayor, Civil servants, the list goes on. You are a major lamenter on this blog.

Deborah OConnor
27 November 2017 2:42 pm

I am in shock, feeling like I’m losing my best friend. We have had a Cobourg newspaper for nearly two hundred years, how can this be? Those of us who want real news, not just photos of kids in sports teams, are out of luck.

It looks like the Cobourg Blog will be our only source of news now. Are you up to the challenge, John? I know a couple of well experienced reporters who just lost their jobs today.